Networking HQ BLOG with Larry James

Saturday, January 18, 2014

You Must Cultivate “Before” the Harvest

Filed under: Networking,Social Capital — Larry James @ 8:30 am
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New networking relationships are for cultivating, not harvesting. There are unwritten rules about how soon you should ask someone in your group for referrals or how long before you actually give a referral to someone. Never ask for a favor or business referral before you built social capital – the value behind your social contacts – to make such a request.

SocialCapitalIt’s important to genuinely have a relationship with someone before you expect “anything” from them or they expect anything from you. Cultivate the relationship. Have a business breakfast or lunch to get to know them better. Do not pitch you or your product. Explore. Find out more about them. Ask lots of questions. What fills up their time when they are not at the office? Who do they know, etc? Do they like what they do?

“Building deep referral relationships is almost completely dependent upon the social capital you have built with someone. Social capital is similar to financial capital in a very important respect. To amass financial capital, you have to invest and grow your assets. You have to have money in the bank before you can make a withdrawal. Relationships are very much the same – referral relationships in particular.” ~ Ivan Misner

Asking for the business too soon is a common networking mistake. This form of “premature solicitation” can kill a relationship before it gets started. Networking is like farming – it’s about cultivating relationships. Relationships are your networking currency.

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Copyright © 2014 – Larry James. Adapted from Larry’s latest book, Ten Commitments of Networking: Creative Ways to Maximize Your Personal Connections! Larry James is a Professional Speaker, Author and Networking Coach. He presents networking seminars nationally and “Networking” coaching by telephone or one-on-one. Something NEW about Networking is posted on this Networking BLOG every 4th day! Visit Larry’s Networking Website at: “Networking HQ!”

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